U.S. Steel executives asked the city of Keewatin to lower the cost of its fire protection contract due to the fact that the Keetac taconite mine has been idled since last May.
At last week’s meeting of the city council, officials declined the request – noting the relatively small cost involved and the fact that full fire protection services would still be expected.
Mayor Bill King kicked off the discussion, noting that Keetac pays $6,000 annually to the city in exchange for full fire fighting services.
After briefly entertaining the idea of billing the company for half the full amount now and the other half if and when operations resume, the council opted to charge the company the full $6,000. City Councilor Paul Clusiau and Clerk Tawnya Maras both expressed reservation about lowering the amount, noting that there was still some activity at the site as well as equipment.
King concluded the discussion with, “I’ve heard enough input. That’s ($6,000) the amount we’re comfortable with and that’s where we want it to stay.”
In other business, the council:
• Authorized application to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board to the stimulus grant program.
• Tabled awarding bids on the community center project until the Feb. 24 council meeting due to delays in the timeline for the project.
• Authorized advertising in the 7AA hockey/basketball program. The total cost of $400 will be split by the city and public utilities.
• Discussed the problem of poor behavior at the city skating rink/warming shack.